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This Japanese proverb relays the vicissitudes of life, with the meaning "seven times down eight times up."
Some would more naturally translate it into English as "Always rising after a fall or repeated failures" or compare it to the English, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."
The first Kanji is literally "7." The second means "fall down" (sometimes this Kanji means "turn around," "revolve" or "turn over" but in this case, it holds the meaning of "fall"). The third is "8." And the last is "get up," "rouse," or "rise."
Basically, if you fail 7 times, you should recover from those events and be prepared to rise an 8th time. This also applies if it is the world or circumstances that knock you down seven times...
...just remember that you have the ability to bounce back from any kind of adversity.
Note: This can be pronounced two ways. One is "shichi ten hakki" or "shichitenhakki." The other is "nana korobi ya oki" also written, "nanakorobi-yaoki."
Special Note: The second character is a Kanji that is not used in China. Therefore, please only select our Japanese master calligrapher for this selection.
This Chinese proverb literally translates as: Mend the roof while the weather is fine, [and when you are] not yet thirsty, dig the well beforehand.
In simple terms, this means: Always be prepared in advance.
This Japanese proverb literally translates as: Have a walking stick ready before stumbling.
This is similar to the English idiom, "A stitch in time saves nine."
In simple terms, this means: Always be prepared in advance.
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
初心 is often translated in Japanese as "beginner's mind" or "beginner's spirit."
In Chinese, the dictionary definition is "one's original intention."
The first character means first, initial, primary, junior, beginning, or basic.
The second character means heart, mind, soul, or essence.
初心 is one of the five spirits of the warrior (budo), and is often used as a Japanese martial arts tenet. Under that context, places such as the Budo Dojo define it this way: The state of shoshin is that of a beginners mind. It is a state of awareness the remains always fully conscious, aware, and prepared to see things for the first time. The attitude of shoshin is essential to continued learning.
飛虎隊 is the full title of the "Flying Tigers Group." These were the American pilots that volunteered to go to China and fight the Japanese prior to the entry of the USA into World War Two. These fighter pilots were so esteemed in China, that fallen American pilots could always find refuge in villages, and safe passage and escape to areas of China that were not occupied by Japan at that time. Chinese villagers helped such fallen pilots with full knowledge that when the Japanese occupation forces found out, all the men, women, and children in the village would be massacred by Japanese troops (there are more than a few known cases of such massacres).
The Flying Tigers successfully kept supply lines to the Chinese resistance open, and divided Japanese forces at a crucial time while America prepared to officially join WWII.
A wall scroll like this honors the men who risked or gave their lives as noble volunteers, and is a reminder of the best moment in the history of Sino-American relations.
These three characters literally mean "flying tiger(s) group/team/squad."
Note: Hanging these characters on your wall will not make you any friends with Japanese people who are aware or this history (most Japanese have no idea, as Japan's involvement in WWII has all but been erased from school textbooks in Japan).
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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Always Be Prepared||飽帶干糧暖帶衣|
|bǎo dài gān liáng nuǎn dài yī|
bao3 dai4 gan1 liang2 nuan3 dai4 yi1
bao dai gan liang nuan dai yi
|pao tai kan liang nuan tai i
|Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight||七転八起||shichi ten hakki / nana korobi ya oki|
shichi ten haki / nana korobi ya oki
|Fix roof before the rain; Dig the well before you are thirsty||補漏趁天晴未渴先掘井|
|bǔ lòu chèn tiān qíng wèi kě xiān jué jǐng|
bu3 lou4 chen4 tian1 qing2 wei4 ke3 xian1 jue2 jing3
bu lou chen tian qing wei ke xian jue jing
|pu lou ch`en t`ien ch`ing wei k`o hsien chüeh ching
pu lou chen tien ching wei ko hsien chüeh ching
|Have a Walking Stick at the Ready Before You Stumble||転ばぬ先の杖||koro ba nu saki no tsue|
|Mind of the Beginner||初心||sho shin / shoshin||chū xīn / chu1 xin1 / chu xin / chuxin||ch`u hsin / chuhsin / chu hsin|
|Flying Tigers AVG||飛虎隊|
|fēi hǔ duì|
fei1 hu3 dui4
fei hu dui
|fei hu tui
|In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.|
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.
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All of our calligraphy wall scrolls are handmade.
When the calligrapher finishes creating your artwork, it is taken to my art mounting workshop in Beijing where a wall scroll is made by hand from a combination of silk, rice paper, and wood.
After we create your wall scroll, it takes at least two weeks for air mail delivery from Beijing to you.
Allow a few weeks for delivery. Rush service speeds it up by a week or two for $10!
When you select your calligraphy, you'll be taken to another page where you can choose various custom options.
The wall scroll that Sandy is holding in this picture is a "large size"
single-character wall scroll.
We also offer custom wall scrolls in small, medium, and an even-larger jumbo size.
Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.
There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.
Even with the teachings of a top-ranked calligrapher in China, my calligraphy will never be good enough to sell. I will leave that to the experts.
The same calligrapher who gave me those lessons also attracted a crowd of thousands and a TV crew as he created characters over 6-feet high. He happens to be ranked as one of the top 100 calligraphers in all of China. He is also one of very few that would actually attempt such a feat.
Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.
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